The Koch brothers have perfected a tainted election process and corporate greed that breaks all barriers of un-American activities. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Money in American politics has never been a foreign concept, however two individuals have gone above and beyond the standard practices of corporate political involvement. Koch Industries is the second largest and most powerful company in America. Fred Koch, a wealthy industrial engineer, created a new method of oil refinement leading to the creation of Koch Industries. Fred, father of four, left the powerful company to his wife and four children then when their mother started to relinquish control of the company in her older age a battle for control took over the family.
In the 1980’s, after the children took more active roles in the every day management of the company, a massive litigation process led by David and Charles, the two middle children, fought to gain full control of the multi-billion dollar corporation. The oldest and youngest siblings wanted a balanced share of control in the company but in the end Charles and David gained full control, pushing out the other two. Soon after they took over Koch Industries the criminal accusations began. Koch Industries illegally took oil from Federal and Indian reserves. Not long after the illegal activities came to light the brothers began delving into financing legislation benefitting Koch Industries and their subsidiaries. In the end the company received fines for just a pittance of $25 million compared to the annual revenue of $115 billion to settle the allegations of theft from the Federal government and Indian land owners.
David and Charles learned early on that financially supporting legislation would lead to less restriction on the side of business. In the 1990’s they quietly began financing individual candidates that would legislate in a manner benefiting Koch Industries. The beginnings of their financial control began with the regulatory side, however they have become masters of American propaganda. When scientists introduced the world to the damages of industry on the environment; David & Charles Koch poured millions of dollars into the climate denial machine. Specifically the Koch brothers paid for individuals to vilify the world’s most prominent scientists who have dedicated their lives to studying the earth and atmosphere. The propaganda never gave actual evidence, it simply reiterated the Koch theory that science is an opinion based activity that has improperly demonized industry. When the Koch brothers funded research studies discrediting global warming, the scientist indeed confirmed that the globe is heating up, so the brothers changed the game plan and pushed propaganda that global warming is actually good for the environment.
This however is not a one-sided game plan, along with funding the verbal propaganda, they bought legislation that removed barriers meant to counteract the damage the industry had done to the environment. Koch Industries has repeatedly filed lawsuits against activists that have found proof that their corporation has purposely tainted drinking water, polluted land and waterways, and killed off protected wildlife. Koch Industries, fined over $400 million dollars in penalties, has paid little of those charges. In most cases Koch Industries, released from responsibility by the courts, walked away but some suits were simply because the individuals or non-profit organization did not have the same financial power to continue fighting. Corporate affiliates in other countries actively violate bribery laws that are swept under the rug. Many international legal suits against Koch or their subsidiaries have also been dismissed with little fan fare.
Such examples are just the tip for the Koch brother’s un-American activities. The rewards for financing policy has paid off ten fold in added revenue to the expanded Koch Industries. Acquiring Georgia-Pacific and partnering with Goldman Sachs, Koch Industries own just about every aspect of American business. Every home in the United States has the Koch brothers in it. From every day goods to the carpets and processed furnishings in American homes, the American people are financing the political activities that they are not benefiting from. Recently the Koch brothers have created a list, distributed in election cycles, of Koch approved candidates at every level of politics. Every approved candidate had been previously linked to the Koch lobbying activities over the last three decades. Each had worked for companies or firms that pursue lenient legislation benefiting industrial activities.
The Koch brothers have prospered so heavily through their political funding activities that they have been pursuing opportunities to completely control the election process. The brothers have gone beyond politics and policies that benefit them to taking on roles to reign over all political realms. In the last decade tens of millions of dollars have gone towards effecting policy and elections that could benefit them or their companies. But now they are pursuing policy that give them universal government control. Taking the helm in creating policy on education in states like Texas and North Carolina allows the Koch brothers to have control over public education nationwide. For two men who never had a child in a public educational institution, creating educational policy for other’s children is unsettling. It is as if they are choosing how their future workforces should and informed. Such activities have been the standards for communist cultures for hundreds of years. Decades of undermined democracy has only set back the election process 50 years. Working from the Stalin playbook, the Koch brothers un-American activities have only grown stronger and harder to combat. Luckily the decades of hidden activity is finally coming to light for the American electorate.
Opinion by Kimberly Beller